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Kerry Allen Crandall

Kerry Allen Crandall joined heaven's campfire on December 30, 2021. Born December 13, 1946, in Grants Pass OR to Fred and Jeanette Crandall. Kerry, the eldest of 4, graduated Grants Pass High School in 1965. Kerry loved scouting and while a Junior he achieved the ranking of Eagle Scout. Kerry was an avid outdoorsman from birth, and it was said he was fishing by the time he could walk. His mother believed and to which he readily agreed, he was born 100 years too late. Kerry found happiness in the deep woods and high lonesomes and no doubt never felt more alive than when hunting elk in the Eagle Caps with his brother Jerry or similar pursuits.

Always an adventurer with many of his exploits appearing in the Daily Courier, such as 1968 when he and friend Ted Brittson set out to float the Rogue River from Riverside Park to Gold Beach in a canoe. Got as far as Galice Riffle when ramming an obstacle caused the canoe to break apart. After salvaging most their gear and swimming to shore proudly exclaiming for the paper "We didn't get our hats wet!" More recently writing a four-part series for Mondays Make History, a collection of memories of growing up in Grants Pass, as far as he was concerned the perfect place in a perfect time.

On September 21, 1968, Kerry married Deborah Reed and together had 4 children, Sean in 1970, Shannon 1971, Dana 1976 and Keri 1982.

Kerry served in the National Guard from 1967 to 1975 also working for the Forest Service during that time. For most of his career Kerry was an auto mechanic, He had a natural talent and there was nothing mechanical he could not fix. From his early days at Lackey's Shell station, Montgomery Wards service center, Jim Sigel where he earned Master Technician status, and Premier Auto Center to name a few. He was well respected in his field and among coworkers.

With his adventurous spirit and a passion for the outdoors he always pursued happiness outside the 9 to 5, spending time hunting, fishing, camping, prospecting and as an avid reader still found time to devour books, from Louis L'Amore to world history. In 1977 Kerry met lifetime friend and kindred spirit Richard Waterman, together they explored the wilds of Southern Oregon. In 1979 with gold prices climbing combined with the thrill of prospecting they set out to stake a claim and after finding gold on a little stream in the Briggs Valley, A.H. Mining was born and the Sugar Pine Mine became a bona fide claim and subsequently sacred and memorable ground for our family to this very day.

Kerry and Deborah divorced in 1986 but remained friends, always showing genuine kindness and respect for one another, in other words leading by example.

In 1987 Kerry married Susan Cox which ended in 1999 only for life to bring them back together to rekindle their relationship and they remarried in 2014.

It was no secret that Kerry's lifelong dream was to move to Alaska. In 2005 with fearless resolve, he set out with a small travel trailer, few possessions and no clear plan except to make his dream a reality. Kerry drove to Anchorage, found employment and his Alaskan adventure began. Hunting moose, fishing, making friends and enjoying the life that the Land of the Midnight Sun had to offer. Susan joined him later and together they carved themselves out a peaceful off grid cabin homestead on the Susitna River with endless miles right out their backdoor to explore. Never one to sit still, after "retiring" Kerry continued working the firearms counter part time at the Sportsmans Warehouse in Wasilla.

In 2021 at the age of 75 It was time to embark on yet another life changing adventure, to sell their cabin and leave the off-grid life behind to return to the lower 48 to be closer to family. In November Kerry and Susan boarded the ferry in Whittier AK and set sail with an open ended destination. Upon arriving in November, it was all about family and many cherished memories were made. Sadly, the full extent of their plans was tragically cut short, and heaven became the destination.

Our Dad was combination Jim Bridger, John Wayne and Dirty Harry, always the real deal, opinionated, fearless and funny. Not perfect, but perfectly our Dad. He taught us self-reliance and respect. Our family lost our gold standard, but the true riches will live on in our hearts. In the final analysis all there is, is family and tradition. Thank you for showing us our true north Dad.

Kerry is survived by Sons Sean and Dana, Daughters Shannon and Keri, Mother Jeanette Breitmayer and Brother Jerry Crandall of Joseph OR, Sister Janet Tsuji of Danville, CA. Grandchildren Paige, Coltin, Natalie, Grace, Isabelle, Hannah, Sophie, Sean, Clara, Savannah, and Isaiah.

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Kerry was always a great friend. His heart was truly always in Alaska as he longed to go up there to live off the grid. When the two of us had worked together, he was one of the best mechanics that I ever had the opportunity to work with, and was quite the outdoorsman. Whenever we had a chance to go fishing together, he must have worn the right hat, for he would always catch the most trout. He often spoke of family camping trips thru the years up in our higher lakes - Howard Prairie / Hyatt Lakes. He would be very disappointed now to see Howard Prairie at only 6% of water capacity this month? I am so glad he was able to fulfill his lifelong dream and been able to move up to Alaska, and later be joined by Susan. It was a joy to see his photo in Sportsman Warehouse working / standing in the gun department up in in Alaska. I will always remember Kerry as looking so forward to heading out to go do a little mining, and if not going hunting, fishing was at the top of his list; one of my fondest memories will be of him peeling a big huge grapefruit with his trusty Buck knife which he always carried on his leather belt, and sprinkling sugar on it, and as happy as a clam in deep water. He along with his wife and best friend will forever be missed by anyone that had ever known them here in the valley.
Bob Johnson,

Bob Johnson 'BJ' Feb 16 2022 7:29 PM

As a father, I focus a great deal of thought and prayer on my children; how they will grow…who they will become…what character they will exhibit.
Being married to one of Kerry's daughters and being blessed to share time and friendship with his other kids, I have utmost respect for the values, grit, and character he so pivotally influenced in them. Kerry Crandall casts a long, noble shadow. His stories, tenacity, and heart inform and impact so many lives. The brief time I was able to talk with him convinced me that I wanted years more.
But God, in His infinite goodness, knew something even better was at work.

David Cosand Feb 12 2022 10:41 AM

A candle was lit in memory of Kerry Crandall

Kathy Lackey Feb 12 2022 10:27 AM

A candle was lit in memory of Kerry Crandall

Christine zorn Feb 7 2022 11:40 PM

I can understand why now, Dad, it makes more sense, and I know you are rejoicing with me. Thank you for taking care of your family, thank you for paving the way. I love you, forever.

#2 Feb 6 2022 10:51 AM

You owe me another dance in heaven. Miss you and love you.

Claire Feb 4 2022 8:28 PM

A photo was added for Kerry Allen Crandall

I pray God saved the best fishing for you in Heaven, Dad. Not goodbye, just see you soon. See you on the shore. Cast a line out for me 💙 I love you, Dad. #4 Feb 4 2022 7:07 PM

A photo was added for Kerry Allen Crandall

#3 Feb 1 2022 12:02 PM

My lifelong friend. We grew up like brothers. I miss him soo much, but we will meet again.

Randy Howerton Jan 31 2022 9:53 AM

Forever loving you. Forever missing you. Until we meet again, never to part, forever sharing your stories, your legacy, and all I have learned from you. Forever your girl. I love you, Dad.

Keri Ann Jan 28 2022 11:04 PM

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